Kobayashi Yasuo So Shihan
Kobayashi Shihan started his Aikido career in 1954 whilst at Meiji University. He entered Hombu dojo in 1955 as an uchi deschi. He continued to train there until 1969 when he established his first dojo in Kodaira, Tokyo. Kobayashi Sensei now has around 200 dojos in Japan and is responsible for the Aikido clubs in Meiji University, Saitama and Tokyo Economics University. He continued to teach in Hombu until 1972 when he opened his second dojo in Tokorozawa.
At that point, he decided to devote his time to Kobayashi dojos. In 1987, Kobayashi dojos received an award of excellence as an organisation from the Nihon Budo Kyogikai and he was also awarded a medal from the Brazilian government in 1988. Now Kobayashi dojos spans the globe in 15 countries including Taiwan, Finland, Sweden, Canada, USA, Brazil, Argentina and now the United Kingdom.
The ethos behind Kobayashi dojos and the reason behind its success is its family atmosphere. Kobayashi Sensei says "I think everyone came to practice because they felt good after coming. In my dojo people don't speak ill or criticise others. They just try to train hard." Old and young train together and after practice sit together and drink tea and have a good time.
Three times a year Kobayashi dojos conduct examinations in Hombu dojo. The main advantage is its central location in Shinjuku and more importantly, it is the Aikikai headquarters.
Practice is energetic and all levels train with weapons right from the outset. Kobayashi Sensei says " Its good to learn weapons - getting used to them gradually from the beginning. Aikido came out of Jujitsu and it involves defences against sword attacks. I think that by learning the sword and staff, people can understand the movements more easily."
Jeff, Kobayashi Sensei, Hiroaki Sensei